Category Archive: Law School Advice

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LL.M. Degrees: More Job Prospects, or Just More Letters?

Ah, the LL.M. degree. If you’ve ever gone to law school, you’ve cracked many a joke about the international students and their LL.M.’s. The Master of Laws degree is almost synonymous with a foreign student trying to get a degree that will give them a beachhead in the U.S.

And law schools are increasingly using it to entice more money out of already-indebted law students.

The American Prospect has a recent article about the growth of these programs, especially in the wake of a number of law schools being forced to cut faculty and salaries in order to maintain their bottom line. Law school applications continue to drop precipitously, and that makes it harder to attract qualified candidates. Schools need to leverage scholarships to keep their numbers up, eating into their profits.

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Advice on Advice: Where to Get Info on Law School Loans

I’ve previously discussed law school debt on the LSAT blog from the viewpoint of those who have already taken it out and are living with the consequences, in a vain attempt to convince a few of you that it’s not the best idea. So go back and read those, if you haven’t already.

Done? Good.

If you’re still set on financing law school with student loans (and I’m sure 99% of those who are reading this are in that boat), it’s important to be well-informed as to what you’re signing up for. The above links will show you what life’s like living under that much debt, but it doesn’t give you a lot of information about the nuts-and-bolts of the process.

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The Lowdown on LRAP: Magical Law School Debt Reliever?

Loan repayment assistance programs (LRAPs) are magic wands that make debt disappear for students who are good-hearted enough to enter public service. Sure, you’re earning a quarter of what your classmates are making, but you’re making the world a better place, and karma repays you for that. With your loan repayment, you get a unicorn to ride to work and a lifetime’s supply of free candy canes. Oh, and you officially get to celebrate your half-birthday, which means more presents!

There are many students who enter law school every year with dreams of entering public service after they graduate. The salaries aren’t nearly as high as those in the private sector; your loans, however, will be. So how do most students expect to cover the gap?

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4 Outside-the-Box Reasons Law School is Still a Good Idea

If you’re heading to law school this fall or plan to do so in the near future, you’ve no doubt heard misgivings from those around you. Your parents are mortified at the cost and wonder if it’ll be worth it. Your friends think you’ll be buried under a mountain of textbooks, never to emerge again. Is law school worth it for everybody? Probably not. But here are a few reasons why it could be worth it for you.

Reason #1 Law School is Still a Good Idea: It’s the way to become a lawyer

It seems obvious, sure, but if you want to become a lawyer, you have to go to law school. So, assuming you’ve done your research, taken a good long look in the mirror, and chosen the profession of law, then law school couldn’t be more “worth it” to you.

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Should You Take a Law School Preview Class this Summer?

Many of you reading this post have either recently graduated from college or will be doing so in the coming days and weeks. While you’re probably concerned with arranging enough tickets for family members you barely know to attend your graduation, the fall of 2012 and the beginning of law school have no doubt managed to creep into that brain of yours.

I’m willing (as my sixth-grade math teacher Mr. Brown once said) to bet dimes and donuts that the prospect of your impending matriculation has caused you some worry. How, you ask, will law school be different from undergrad? Do I need to change my study habits? Will I delve ever deeper into an unending caffeine addiction?

Given your consternation, you may have considered taking one of those law school preview classes that seem to be all the rage with the cool kids these days (how do you like my dated slang?).

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What are Law School Finals Like, Anyway?

If there’s one thing that terrifies prospective law students more than the LSAT, it’s law school finals. Even after gaining admission to some of the most hallowed halls in the country, the specter of that first round of exams casts a pallor over their heads.

Authors have written books on how to ace them. Students have created catchy acronyms to approach them. There are even simulated programs in which you can enroll that will take you through a mock semester, including an actual final at the end.

And why is there so much stress over a test? Haven’t you taken a ton in undergrad?

Yes, you have. But nothing like a law school final.

The biggest difference between the law school final and the undergrad final is the relative import of the exam.

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Things to Buy for Law School with Your Tax Refund

It’s Tax Day today, so hopefully everyone out there has already filed. Especially since there’s a demy-crat in the office, so we’re probably all getting some of that sweet socialist money back.

Thanks to the wonders of TurboTax, I’m getting a nice refund deposited directly into my checking account sometime in the next week. But what should I spend that money on? I’m open to suggestions in the comments, dear readers – go to town.

But what should the prospective law student do with those sweet, sweet Obamabucks? The options are quite endless, but here are the top five:

1. Spend it all on one last hurrah. While you’ll have time during law school to go out and enjoy life (if you plan correctly), there will be a lot more work than you’re used to.

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The Key to Handling Law School Debt: Make it Worth it

There are a lot of studies done in social psychology that analyze the way that we analyze risk. They’re pretty interesting if you’re into that kind of thing; if you’re not, I’ll cut through all the charts and control groups for you. One of the underlying discoveries is that people can’t legitimately conceive of the risk of things that are very likely to happen and very unlikely to happen, so we compress those things to be much closer to our average idea of ‘risk’ than they actually are. For instance, you’re very, very unlikely to die by being struck by a meteor; however, the chance is so astronomically (see what I did there?) small that almost everyone thinks it’s much more likely than the reality because we just don’t have a strong grasp of how uncommon it is.

The same goes for money, especially when you’re 21 years old and looking down a barrel at that $160K of law school debt. It’s a lot of money, but most people don’t realize exactly how much it is.

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Six Things to Do in the Final Months of Law School

There’s nothing quite like being in law school and coming down with a severe case of 3L-itis. If you’re smart, you’re taking a couple of Pass/No Pass courses. You’re doing about half the reading you know you should. You’ve already started thinking about taking the Bar. You may even have a job to go to once you (hopefully) pass the exam. In other words, put a stamp on this semester because you’re mailing it in.

So what’s a 3L with way too much time on his/her hands to do? Any motherf***ing thing you like. Just in case you need a little help, here’s a list to get you started:

1. Sleep in. A lot.

Nothing says, “I don’t have to be an adult yet” quite like purposely failing to set an alarm on a weeknight.

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Advice on Going to a New York Law School

I grew up in the great state of New Jersey. Yes, great state. We put Camden and Newark there to scare off the people who are just visiting, especially from New York and Philly. Go down to the Jersey Shore and it’s just like on TV – awesome. If you don’t like it, screw you.

Growing up in New Jersey, I know the appeal of New York. It’s like your cooler, older brother. Sure, you’re a little more laid back, but you always want to hang out with him. New York’s cultured. New York’s got more ladies. New York’s the person you look up to.

So I understand why a lot of you have a dream of moving to New York for law school.

Before you pack up and move (or pack up and stay, for you native New Yorkers), you’re going to have to understand a few things about New York.